Sunday, July 29, 2012
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has long stood by its Bible-based roots, keeping stores closed on Sundays and donating millions to Christian causes. But when its president, Dan Cathy, went public to defend his company's stance against gay marriage, he set off a considerable controversy that has everyone from politicians to puppets weighing in.
First telling the Baptist Press his company supported the "biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy then told the radio program The Ken Coleman Show, "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about."
The backlash spread swiftly. Boston's mayor pledged to block the chicken sandwich stores from opening in Beantown, a Chicago alderman said he'll try to stop a franchise from opening in his ward and the Jim Henson Co. cutoff its Chick-fil-A collaboration. Because it's a private company, it will be difficult to measure the bottom-line impact of all the attention.
Starbucks, Target and General Mills all stepped into the same-sex marriage issue by supporting gay marriage legislation in their home states. Each face ongoing boycotts led by theAmerican Family Association and the National Organization for Marriage for doing so. The National Organization for Marriage said it's uncertain whether its boycotts are having an impact on businesses.
And after JC Penney hired Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson, the socially conservative group One Million Moms called for her firing.